Most US adults who subscribe to cable or satellite TV prefer to watch programmes on traditional TV sets, despite the growing popularity of viewing television content online.
Research conducted by Nielsen for the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) found that a third of adult broadband users surveyed had watched at least one programme originally shown on TV via the internet.
Of those who sought out video content online, 87 per cent watched TV programmes directly from a TV network website.
Around 82 per cent of those who watched video content online reported that they went online to find a specific programme that they had missed when it first aired on TV.
This indicates the critical importance of strong marketing for the initial TV showing, and the success that major networks are having by taking popular programmes to an online platform.
Online viewers are not only catching up on their favourite shows, as nearly 40 per cent report using the internet to get the scoop on actors and upcoming episodes.
Asked to choose among 17 online content categories, online television viewers prefer to watch shorter video clips when they go online.
These categories were movie trailers (top choice for 53 per cent of respondents), user-generated videos (45 per cent), music videos and general news segments (37 per cent), comedy programmes (31 per cent) and sports clips (31 per cent).
"Tracking how consumer behaviour is changing as a result of new television viewing platforms is critical to our business," said Char Beales, president and chief executive at CTAM.
"As preferences are made clear through research, cable companies and content providers evolve the product mix to best suit viewers' needs and desires."
In general, the study found that people spend more time online each week than they did two years ago.
Fifty-one per cent of the respondents reported being online for at least three hours a week last year, compared to 41 per cent in 2005.
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